5 Beautiful and Historical Pilgrimage Sites in Naga City, Philippines

Find the perfect temporary home at a hotel in Naga City in Camarines Sur where you can start your journey for seeking the salve of peace. Travelers who are planning of getting away and escaping to this pilgrimage city in Bicol region will surely be enthralled by an array of old churches that presents a captivating cultural experience.

For those who want to explore the best spiritual places in this part of the Philippines, here’s a list of the fascinating sanctuaries and landmarks that you should visit.

1. San Francisco Church

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San Francisco Church in daylight

Established on the banks of the Naga River, this 17th-century church is the first in the region that was built by the Franciscan friars. During the peak of Spanish occupation, its basement and infirmary served as interrogation and torture halls for Filipinos who were captured.

In September 1898, the Spaniards also used the church as a fortress when the troupes of Elias Angeles and Felix Plazo attacked them. The grounds of San Francisco Church is also believed to have once sheltered the oldest hospital in Southeast Asia.

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San Francisco Church at night

2. Holy Rosary Minor Seminary

Built during the Spanish era, this structure is originally conceived as a vocation house. Eventually, Holy Rosary Minor Seminary emerged as a school that pioneered ecclesiastical education in the region. This is the Alma Mater of Bishop Jorge Barlin, the first Filipino bishop, and of Jose Ma. Panganiban, a notable local hero.

Though the seminary has been renovated several times, its distinct colonial style and ambiance remained. In January 1988, it was declared as a National Historical Landmark by the National Historical Institute.

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3. Naga Metropolitan Cathedral

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Facade of Naga Metropolitan Cathedral

Regarded as the largest and most symbolical church in Naga, this marvelous structure is also known as one of the oldest cathedrals in the country. Officially named as the Naga Metropolitan Cathedral of Saint John the Evangelist, this sanctuary plays a vital role during the feast of the Our Lady of Peñafrancia, the miraculous patroness of Bicol.

On the first day of the week-long celebration, the image of the Virgin Mary is transferred here from the Basilica Minor. This procession is a religious practice that is known as “traslacion”. Every year, millions of devotees flock in this place to honor the blessed virgin.

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Pavilion with stained glass in front of the Naga Metropolitan Cathedral
According to the website of Naga City Guide, the best Naga accommodation for the Peñafrancia Festival visitors is The Carmen Hotel. You can reserve rooms directly on its website.
According to the website of Naga City Guide, the best Naga accommodation for the Peñafrancia Festival visitors is The Carmen Hotel. You can reserve rooms directly on its website.

4. Peñafrancia Shrine

According to history, when Fr. Miguel Robles de Covarrubias brought the revered statue of “Ina” (that’s how the locals address the patroness), they constructed a sanctuary that was primarily made of local materials. In 1750, the Peñafrancia Shrine was completed to serve as a landmark of the original home of the 300-year old image of Our Lady of Peñafrancia.

Today, the shrine’s bell that was donated by Don Simon Tuangqui (a rich Chinese trader) during the building’s reconstruction still tolls on the campanile.

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Peñafrancia Shrine 

5. Peñafrancia Basilica Minore

The Peñafrancia Basilica Minore is considered as the most famous church in the region because it houses the image of Our Lady of Peñafrancia. The Romanesque design of the edifice is conceptualized by the late Archbishop Pedro Paulo Santos y Songco. Its construction commenced in 1976, but was postponed for a number of years due to funding problems. Peñafrancia Basilica Minore was completed in September 1981 and since then, the church became the center of faith and devotion to Virgin Mary in
the region.

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Peñafrancia Basilica Minore
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The glorious altar of Peñafrancia Basilica Minore

For a more convenient and time-efficient pilgrimage, make sure to spend your holiday in a hotel in Naga City that offers travel and tour services.